I went to Yarnover on Saturday. For those of you not in the Upper Midwest, Yarnover is an annual day-long knit-fest sponsored by the Minnesota Knitters Guild. There is a keynote speaker and classes and vendors and lunch and knitting and chatting and fun. I went two years ago and loved it; in 2008 it was held on the last Saturday before April 15 so I had to skip it. But when I checked the website in December and saw that in 2009 it was scheduled for April 18, I signed up immediately.
This year's event was held at Hopkins High School, a large suburban h.s. perfect for the event. The keynote address was held in the airy, light-filled cafeteria.
That is slightly less than half the room. Look at all those knitters!
The keynote speaker was someone you may recognize.
Lily Chin talked about the history of knitting and how many things that seem new -- social knitting groups, novelty yarns, community knitting -- have been around for decades. She called for people in the audience to bring up examples of *heirloom* knitting from previous decades. A couple pieces truly were heirlooms -- beautifully fine-gauge hand-knit sweaters of vaguely argyle patterning that the knitter had found for $1 in a thrift store. Some pieces got a huge nostalgic laugh -- the 1960s brightly colored fair isle hot pants, the 1970s bulky knit poncho.
Then it was time for the morning class. I took "Two Colors, Two Hands" taught by Sally Melville. She taught us several different ways to do stranded/fair isle knitting. It began to feel almost comfortable by the end of the class. Yay!
In the afternoon I took another class from Sally, "Knitting to Flatter and Fit". The homework for the class was for each of us to bring a scale drawing of our silhouette. To judge by the groans that filled the classroom, I was not the only one who had found this to be... depressing. My own silhouette was somewhere between Gaston Lachaise's Standing Woman (below, left) and the Venus of Willendorf (right):
I was very frugal in the vendor area, resisting almost everything. But one particular skein of sock yarn had to come home with me.
That's Pagewood Farms Denali sock yarn in the Crayon colorway -- delightfully soft and beautifully colored. I had been wanting a shawl pin, too, but didn't want to spend much on it because I wasn't sure how much I would use it; the carved wooden one was $10 -- perfect.
One of the best things about going to a knitting event is to see the varied and gorgeous and intricate knitwear.
There were shawls (click to biggify, especially the one on the right -- there are a couple more handknit sweaters partially visible):
Intricate sweaters (if anyone recognizes the pattern for either of these, please sing out in the comments -- I would love to make either one, especially now that I am feeling rather smug about fair isle)(although I think the first one may actually be a slip-stitch pattern):
A tiny sweater grown to adult size (I didn't realize until I looked at the photo that it is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise, knit for an adult):
A colorful yoke/scarf (from a Candace Eisner Strick kit; I think I heard the wearer describe it as such to someone else who admired it):
There were many, many other lovely pieces being worn, but as you can tell from the ones I photographed, I am all about the colors.
Susan Rainey, of The Rainey Sisters blog, was on the committee that put together this event. She and her fellow organizers did a great job -- thank you, all!